Dover Beach Written in 1851, Dover Beach is Matthew Arnold 's best-known poem. It was inspired by two visits he and his wife Frances made to the south coast of England, where the white cliffs of Dover stand, just twenty-two miles from the coast of France. This poem of consists of 39 lines, addresses the decline of religious faith in the modern world and offers the fidelity of affection as its successor. Many claim it to be a honeymoon poem and that is understandable because romantic love, albeit (although) of a Victorian nature, features strongly. But there's no doubt the poem goes much deeper, into the notion of happiness and humanity's spiritual state. The speaker laments the loss of true Christian faith in England during the mid-1800s as science captured the minds of the public. The speaker, considered to be Matthew Arnold himself, begins by describing a calm and quiet sea out in the English Channel. He stands on the Dover coast and looks across to France where a sma
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